Vietnamese market prefers Korean-made C-size sedans over Japanese

25 Jul 2022

After 6 months of 2022, consumption of C-sized cars is more than 16,700 vehicles, of which K3 and Elantra sell 8,795 vehicles, accounting for 52% of the market share.

Mẫu Elantra lăn bánh tại Việt Nam. Ảnh: TC Motor

Korean brands have a smaller number of products than Japanese competitors, but they have higher sales in the C-size sedan segment. Kia K3 and Hyundai Elantra represent Korean automakers, while Mazda3, Toyota Altis, and Honda Civic represent Japanese models being sold in Vietnam.

After the first 6 months of 2022, K3 and Elantra sold nearly 8,800 cars, about 800 cars more than the trio of Altis, Mazda3, and Civic combined. The two leading positions are products assembled and distributed by Truong Hai (Thaco). K3 and Mazda3 help Thaco dominate the C-size sedan market with a market share of nearly 75%.

K3 with the advantage of being the cheapest in the segment (only counting models publicizing sales figures), varied versions, and comfortable equipment, has led the segment for the past 3 consecutive years. This model is currently the second best-selling product of the Kia brand in Vietnam, only after the B-size CUV, Seltos. Before Kia K3 held the throne, Mazda3 was the best-selling model in the segment, from 2015-2018.

To avoid internal competition, from the new generation launched in 2019, Thaco positioned the Mazda3 as a more advanced model, with a much higher price and safety technology than Kia Cerato. These two models create a long price range, reaching many groups of customers who prefer traditional sedan designs. The assembly advantage also helps the company to proactively configure and quickly update the facilities on the K3 and Mazda3 according to the trends of Vietnamese customers, so sales were always at the top.

Elantra is a Korean model next to K3 but assembled and sold by Thanh Cong Group. Hyundai’s model is also quick to update design and equipment like K3 but is not as popular.

Japanese cars and Korean cars in this segment are quite differentiated in terms of pricing and philosophy. Korean cars are cheaper, focusing on passenger service options, while Japanese cars are more expensive, focusing on safety technologies. When K3 became the main choice for customers who prioritized affordable prices, Elantra had a difficult time. This model was at the end of its product life cycle with few new upgrades, so the attraction also reduces heat.

From 2022, Toyota Altis follows in the footsteps of Honda Civic imported from Thailand, with the highest selling price in the segment. Both Altis and Civic are not the main products of their respective brand. Their sales are among the lowest.



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